2021 Kia Seltos crossover nets up to 31 mpg combined rating, starts at $23,110

When it arrives this winter, the 2021 Kia Seltos small crossover will net up to 31 mpg combined, according to the EPA, and cost $2,000 less than the compact Sportage—even with all-wheel drive on the base model, which other automakers usually charge more for.

Kia this week announced the 2021 Seltos would cost $23,110, including mandatory destination changes, for a base LX trim with a 146-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 that drives all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

The Seltos LX also includes 17-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, one USB port, and power features. The Seltos also gets Kia’s superlative new-car warranty for 5 years/60,000 miles but base cars critically lack automatic emergency braking, which is becoming nearly universal among other mainstream automakers’ small crossovers.

According to EPA ratings released last week, base Seltos LX crossovers manage 27 mpg city, 31 highway, 29 combined. With front-wheel drive drive, the Seltos rates 29/34/31 mpg.

The Seltos S and EX both rely on the base 2.0-liter inline-4 for propulsion, but add more creature comforts compared to the base version. Seltos S models add synthetic leather upholstery, but add blue-contrast interior stitching and can be fitted with an uprated 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo-4, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive for better performance. Seltos EX models upgrade to leather upholstery, a sunroof, but stand pat with the base engine. Both trims critically add automatic emergency braking and active lane control. Kia didn’t say how much either trim level costs when it goes on sale.

The top-of-the-line Seltos SX adds the uprated turbo-4, more standard active safety features including blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and a 10.3-inch touchscreen for infotainment. The EPA rates the Seltos at 25/30/27 mpg with the uprated turbo-4.

We expect to know more, including its price, early next month.